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The Devolution Will be Televised

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What happens when an innocent Netflix victim can’t stop hitting play

What follows are the recovered field notes of Patrick Lerpiss, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Mossissippi, a higher education institution similar to Ole Miss, but slower. Lerpiss disappeared in the midst of conducting field work on the nature and effects of binge watching of television programs among adults ages 18-35. The whereabouts of his research subject and roommate, Angelica Mellon, are also unknown.

Binge Television-Watching Enthography, Field Notes

Dr. Pat Lerpiss

Subject Profile

Name: Mellon, Angelica

Sex: Female

Age: 27

FRIDAY 11/13/15 5:58 PM 

Subject arrived home from work, clearly exhausted. When queried about her evening plans she responded, “Probably just do some laundry and wash my hair. I think I’m ready to check out Walking Dead, too — Jenny told me it was good even if you’re not really into zombie stuff.”


FRIDAY 11/13/15 9:04 PM
Subject has now viewed four consecutive episodes of Walking Dead. Aside from a brief break at 7:45 to change into pajamas, viewing has occurred continuously. Researcher was asked to place an order for pizza delivery from his laptop to prevent subject’s having to pause the program.


SATURDAY 11/13/15 12:39 AM
Subject used the phrase, “Okay, one more episode!” three times tonight, before finally proceeding to bed. No laundry was attempted.


SATURDAY 11/14/15 8:32 AM
Subject awoke roughly an hour earlier than usual, and after making coffee, immediately sat down to begin viewing. Typical personal grooming habits appear to have been ignored.


SATURDAY 11/14/15 2:18 PM
Subject has now been viewing Walking Dead for six consecutive hours without interruption. “I wish Netflix would stop asking me if I’m still watching. Of course I’m still watching,” she said. Laundry continues to sit, unwashed.


SATURDAY 11/14/15 7:20 PM
Subject received several text messages from friends, inquiring about previously-made plans for dinner. She ignored these until the following phone call was received:


Subject: “Hey… no, sorry, I’ve been asleep… Yeah, I think I’m getting the flu or something, I’m not gonna be able to make it… Yeah, tell her I said happy birthday! I’ll take her to brunch next weekend… okay, thanks, I will, bye.”

[end transcription]

Subject then folded two pieces of pizza on top of one another and ate both simultaneously.


SUNDAY 11/15/15 2:41 AM
Subject has now been watching for 18 straight hours. She’s said nothing for the last four, responding to any inquiry or interruption with shushes and/or annoyed grunts. Researcher is beginning to wonder at which point he should intervene.


SUNDAY 11/15/15 6:03 AM
I was startled awake by the show’s theme song before the sun came up. I’m not sure if Angie ever went to bed, or if she even stopped watching. She’s still wearing her PJs from Friday, and I think I can smell her from across the room. I didn’t say anything. Maybe it’s me.


SUNDAY 11/15/15 11:08 AM
The Domino’s delivery guy seems to be worried about us. When he passed the pizza through the window to me, he asked if we “needed any help.” We’ve got plenty of canned goods and the doors are heavily barricaded, so I’m not sure what he meant by that. We’ll be fine. It’s fine.


SUNDAY 11/15/15 6:16 PM
Angie thinks we should get my dog’s vocal cords removed as soon as possible, which I think is a good idea because we can’t risk him attracting Walkers into the camp but I’d hate to have to put him down. I wonder if Herschel is familiar with the procedure…

SUNDAY 11/15/15 9:02 PM
It’s no longer safe for us here. House has too many entrances and not nearly enough supplies. We need to find Rick and the rest of the group, pool our resources and secure a perimeter.

Lerpiss and Mellon were last seen at the Wal-Mart in town, attempting to purchase multiple firearms. When they were denied service due to their disheveled appearance, they absconded into the nearby woods with several armfuls of beef jerky. If you or anyone you know has information on this case, please contact the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.

Written by

Troy Coll is a New Orleans-born, Mississippi-raised investigator of all things gustatory. A 2007 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, Troy has written for a number of now-deceased Hattiesburg publications, along with hubcitylife.com and Signature Magazine. He also assisted in the efforts of Raise Your Pints, a grassroots organization dedicated to modernizing Mississippi’s draconian beer laws. By day, he runs Mr. Sippi Beverages, Hattiesburg-area bottled water provider. Otherwise you can find him roaming the South, with a glass in his hand and food in his mouth. His non-edible interests include meeting new dogs, making mix CD’s and tweeting a lot. Follow him across social media @TacoHole.

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